Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of Greece’s Socialist Pasok party, failed to form a coalition government, raising the likelihood of new elections next month as the country edges closer to a dramatic exit from the euro zone.
Venizelos will return the mandate to President Karolos Papoulias, a Pasok party official told Reuters.
Now three of Greece’s leading parties -- including the conservative New Democracy and the left-wing Syriza party -- have failed to form a new government in the wake of last weekend’s fractured parliamentary vote that gave no one party anything close to a majority.
Meanwhile, Papoulias's office said the president will meet Venizelos on Saturday.
Earlier, Alexis Tsipras -- whose party ruled out any austerity measures related to the huge bailouts provided to Greece by the European union and International Monetary Fund -- told reporters he would not join any coalition with Venizelos.
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It is not the Left Coalition that has refused this proposal, but the Greek people who did so with their vote on Sunday.”